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NCTE / IRA Standards for the English Language Arts

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

NCTE / IRA Standards for the English Language Arts

Response to OSU's Library Renovation

Friday, July 18, 2008

Julie Hart, in her article Library Profiles: The Unwritten Rules of Library Construction, discusses her years spent consulting with library construction projects. While the article goes into deeper discussions about funding through bonds and other means, she makes a point of how libraries need to “come alive in the minds of the community.” As with anything that holds sentimental value, a library can conjure up great memories of the past and prevent a community from seeing the need to start over. While there are certainly great buildings, many libraries fall into a category of “demolish, and rebuild.”

Although I haven’t personally visited the OSU Thompson library, I am sure that this library does not fall into the category of “demolish, and rebuild.” The building has an extensive history with the university and, at nearly 100 years old, every effort should be made to protect the original structure. However, a great deal of change has come about in the last 100 years. This building has had a few extremely major renovations and/or additions. While these renovations were necessary for storage and other issues, the beauty of the building suffered. Hart compares library renovation to the human body in that “problems can be repaired, but they never quite go away.”

The need for a complete renovation, undoing the renovations of the past, was necessary. By taking the needs of users into consideration, changes can be made to make the building ADA compliant, technologically up to date, and more energy efficient with a modern infrastructure. And, without apologizing, the building will become more attractive and inviting. Guy Robertson’s article discusses the “integrated whole” of the library. This includes signage, staff workspace, shelving, and even bathrooms. Renovating does not necessarily mean creating larger workspaces, but more efficient workspaces with proper lighting, layout, and air conditioning. The finished library will not only provide quiet, private study rooms, it will also provide large areas with movable furniture to encourage working in groups.

The Las Vegas Clark County Library District is an excellent (and award winning!) district. However, little has been done to upgrade the larger libraries… and it shows. It really comes down to priorities. The citizens of Las Vegas do not fund libraries properly, and the massive growth forces the money to be spent on underserved areas of our valley. In January, the first new branch in 10 years will open. Centennial Hills Library will be a beautiful, state of the art addition to the district. For a little comparison, in those same 10 years, Las Vegas has probably built nearly 100 schools! A ratio of 1:100 can only mean large areas of underserved patrons.

Certainly one of the most controversial of all decisions made by OSU was the removal of 700,000 books from this library. In the past, I would have agreed with the crude comment in response to the Chronicle of Higher Education article. I now believe the director when he says, “I think we will see most libraries moving in this direction.” In our little Curriculum Materials Library, I would like to relocate a huge part of our collection. The items would still be accessible (as they are at OSU), we just wouldn’t have to work around them. It would leave us with more space for a more comfortable environment.

Hart, Julie C. "Library Profiles: The Unwritten Rules of Library Construction." Arkansas Libraries 61.4 (2004): 30-2.

Robertson, Guy. "Here's Looking at You, Kid: What Special Visitors Want when they Tour Your Library." Feliciter 52.5 (2006): 213-

OSU Library Renovation: Less Books = More Space

To allow for reallocation of space during the $108 million renovation of its main library, OSU decided to move 700,000 books that had come to “clutter the collection.” This, according to an article in Chronicle of Higher Education, will result in larger study areas and more room for "social spaces" that were unable to accommodate the large number of students.

The original reading room, reduced decades ago to provide more shelf space, will be restored to its original purpose. The freeing up of space will result in areas with movable furniture and small, private study spaces that are more “inviting.” While this renovation reduces the size of the collection by nearly a third, walls of glass will allow patrons to be reminded of the "central role books play in a library."

The books will be moved to a storage facility off-site, freeing up "primary real estate on campus," according to Joseph Branin, the university's director of libraries. "I think we will see most libraries moving in this direction."

Ohio State Main Library Undergoes $108 Million Renovation

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Ohio State University is currently working one of the largest building projects in their history, the renovation of the William Oxley Thompson (Main) Library. As Director Joseph J. Branin states in his welcome letter to the renovation website, he wants the updated "library to be a place that pays tribute to the enduring value of books and human interaction in the creation of knowledge."

To provide information and keep interested people abreast of the news, Ohio State has created an excellent Thompson Library Renovation website. According to the project overview, the library opened in 1913, and endured major renovations and additions over the years. In 1951, an 11 story structure was added to provide more stack space and study areas. In 1966, the "magnificence of the original building" was impacted by the addition of a mezzanine floor that eliminated the high ceiling of reference hall. This hall will be restored to its original grandeur.

With the renovation, "spaces for individual quiet study, and areas for interactive group learning," as well as needed upgrades to digital and infrastructure needs, will provide an improved learning environment.

See a LIVE webcam of the progress, the login and password is "guest."